Watch Out for Misleading Titles

by | Jan 16, 2020 | Real Estate Law

Misleading professional titles, such as “Foreclosure” or “Short Sale” expert harm an unwary public warns veteran real estate attorney. Keys to successfully resolving a financial or legal crisis begin with selecting the right licensed advocate.

When experiencing financial or legal trouble for the first time, be assured that while a poor economy can affect virtually everyone, one’s financial or legal fact pattern is unique. The following recommendations for a successful outcome remain constant, no matter how serious the issue.

Hire a Specialist

Imagine for a moment, having severe chest pains. Should a cardiologist, a general medical practitioner, or a naturopath be consulted? The choice is obvious; a cardiologist, of course. The cardiologist specializes in the heart after years of medical training and experience. Now imagine a financial “heart attack”. A bank or creditor has secured a judgment and is raiding a bank account or garnishing wages. For some, the nightmare begins with an eviction or foreclosure notice. What type of specialist should be summoned in this matter? A real estate agent, a paralegal, a lawyer who maintains a general practice, or a lawyer who specializes in banking or real estate law. When faced with a serious financial or legal problem, treat your situation like the financial “heart attack” that it is and obtain a legal specialist.

Using the same analogy above, performing your own “bathroom surgery” instead of seeking a qualified specialist to perform heart surgery will be messy and ugly. Managing one’s own financial or legal crisis instead of retaining an experienced licensed professional is no different. Clients who were initially representing themselves usually come for professional help after spending countless hours compiling vast libraries of documents and having extremely long and complicated stories that are made worse by their own inaction or actions. They relay exhausting stories of disappointment only after their creditor has divested them of all of their assets. In short, “going it alone” is messy, and when a professional has to clean up the mess, it gets extremely costly and ugly.

Investigate Your Advocate

Work only with licensed professionals. Each state has their own occupational code and requires a professional to have achieved a core education as well as a demonstrated minimum competency to obtain a license. If your “adviser” does not have a current state or federal license, they shouldn’t be your adviser. Avoid someone who calls themselves a “foreclosure specialist” a “short sale” specialist, a bankruptcy consultant, or a loan consultant. There are no such licenses for such titles. A licensed real estate agent sells real estate and can obtain numerous professional designations from within their professional organization. They should state they are a licensed agent that has experience in a specific area, and that they have a designation earned by having taken classes through their professional organization. Likewise, most people know that an attorney is a legal advocate, but may not be aware that attorneys have their own specialties that can range from health care law to equestrian law. Ask the lawyer what area of practice they specialize in. A bankruptcy attorney practices bankruptcy law; a real estate attorney deals with real estate and foreclosure defense. Understand these specialties and investigate your options.

When seeking out the best advocate for a legal or financial crisis, remember that it is your home, your credit, your mental health that is in jeopardy. Take some time to investigate and choose the professional that will specifically address and resolve your needs.

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